Thursday, December 25, 2008

I love Windows Vista

Never thought I would say that so soon. Received the i7 beast, assembled, installed, forgot to activate RAID, installed again, broke Autoexec.bat three times before I found out the culprit program from some unnamable motherboard supplier, and now the system is running like a dream.

My SLI is enabled, programs are being installed, and I am looking forward to do some ESRI work at high speed.

But back to Vista. Having read countless forum posts on why the execution protection is so frustrating, I can not agree. In the last day I have installed many programs, but it works. Are you sure you know this program? Yes, I am. Hardly what I would call work. The first time my system broke was when the driver installer said it was finished, but it did not release my Autoexec.bat. Vista told me so, but since I received the message from the installer saying all ended well, I chose to believe that.

So Vista is good, well thought out, and not so different to XP that you would notice it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Katja and Arnold - Perth Zoo

Since we have to use our zoo friends membership, I took Katja and Arnold to the zoo last Friday. Here Katja is sitting with my in-laws.

We were privileged to see some baby Meerkats. Very cute, and both Katja and Arnold wanted to take them home. I neglected to tell them how sharp their teeth are...
We only saw the Savanna section, as I had a meeting in the afternoon. But the school holidays are long, so we will go again. We have already paid back our zoo memberships, but parking is still a problem at the zoo. We knew we were only staying two hours, yet we had to pay for the whole day...

Just after bath time after a long day, and Katja is getting quite strong!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Buy or build?

I have been researching computers for a few days now, and finally today found what I was looking for. If I build a system myself, it would be a lot cheaper than the one I considered purchasing a week or so ago. Which leads to the next hing, it has been seven years since my last desktop purchase, and seven years since I last put together a computer. Also about seven years since anyone posted instructions on how to do it. But one of the links came out tops, and I saw a nice video on how to build your own pc.

It brought back many memories.

So, parts were duly ordered from Simline, to be picked up tomorrow, after some haggling on case availability. I appreciated the service that was provided. Top notch.

Of course, building is not for everyone, and there is something to be said for system unification. But saving half the purchase price allows for a lot of money to be spent on unification. Or on a desperately needed fast laser printer.

Some details on what I purchased:
Case: Coolermaster HAF932
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit
Motherboard: Asus P6T Deluxe OC Palm
Processor: Intel i7-920
GPU: GTX280 x 2 SLI'd
RAID-0 supported by default.
Powersupply: Gigabyte ODIN Pro 1200W

So, I assume my GIS work will be going a bit faster now. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

NVIDIA GTX295 preview

Just when you think you have arrived, something new comes out. Here I am still contemplating purchasing a system with two GTX280's in SLI, and soon to be released is the GTX295, which has two boards in one housing, already SLI'd, and you can even purchase two, SLI them, and have four GPU's working for you.

But all of this remains a dream, as spending has been cut down drastically. None the less, read the preview here, and enjoy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jonno with his riverbrew cap

The talented Jonathan with his modified Riverview cap. A few of us ROFL'd when we saw it.

In other news, Jonno gave me a copy of his 2002 Christmas album on Monday. It has been a long time since I was so inspired. Jonathan is an accomplished Jazz musician, my music teacher, Katja's piano teacher, fellow Cockburn Central musician, and friend. Get it if you can, and if you can't, leave a comment, and I will point you in the right direction.

Arnold at Belmont Forum

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Katerina and Sonja

Sonja's dedication 20081207

Followed by a do at home. Hanrettys and van der Merwes attended.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Cessna Mustang movies

STOP! Do not watch these before you have covered your keyboard with something drool-proof.


Political Correctness gone D**k mad

Wanted to purchase a movie or two for the children on iTunes, and saw that one of my favourite movies, "Fun with Dick and Jane", has had its name censored.
It's a world gone mad. So if your name is Dick, you are not allowed to write it as "Dick" anymore, according to some people...

Intel i7 core, the way to go.

My desktop is now six years old. Unprecedented, I know, but for the last year I have been using only a powerful Dell D630 laptop. It does struggle, though with some of my graphics-intensive applications, especially when I do GIS work. So I have been researching a desktop/laptop replacement, but to get decent performance in a laptop, and have it portable enough is difficult. So I think it will be a desktop replacement.

What better place to look than Alienware for a performance desktop. Although today we will be discussing support options. Dell still has my great admiration, for their support over the last year has been magnificent. On my business account I have always received their advertised next day on-site support, and even though I had a few issues with my D630, I have been very happy. It has worked hard over the last year, and I am now on my second hard drive, and third mother board (due to an overheating graphics chip - told you it works hard).

Intel® Core™ i7-940 Performance 2.93GHZ 8MB Cache
Alienware® P2 ALX Chassis with AlienIce™ 3.0 Video Cooling - ALX - Saucer Silver
Alienware® AlienFX® System Lighting
Alienware® ALX High-Performance Liquid Cooling
Alienware® Acoustic Dampening
Alienware® 1200 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
Dual 1GB NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 280 - ALX
6GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 3 x 2048MB
Alienware® Approved Intel® X-58 Motherboard- Socket 1366 Core i7 Ready, Dual Triple Channel DDR3 Memory
Microsoft® Windows® VISTA 64-bit Ultimate with Service Pack 1
Extreme Performance (RAID 0) - 1TB (2 x 500GB) Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7,200 RPM w/ 2 x 16MB Cache
High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio
1-Year AlienCare Warranty Return To Base + Toll-Free Phone Support

I am also looking forward to the 64 bit Vista. This will be my first 64 bit operating system should I complete the purchase.